The reason cyclists cannot eliminate their crash risk

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Bicycle Accidents |

Almost everyone out on public roads has an interest in avoiding a crash. Those in motor vehicles do not want the expense, delay or potential for injury triggered by a crash. The same is true of most cycling enthusiasts. Those who ride bikes for transportation or as a form of exercise understand that they are only one crash away from hospitalization or death. Cyclists tend to be much more cautious about following traffic safety rules than those driving larger vehicles.

Sadly, cyclists simply cannot control many of the issues that put them at risk, as many of them relate to what those in bigger vehicles do. For example, drivers commonly endanger cyclists in the following ways, which cyclists cannot control.

Motorists too often fail to watch for cyclists

One of the most common explanations for collisions where vehicles strike cyclists is that the driver didn’t see the cyclist in traffic before the crash occurred. A psychological phenomenon known as inattentional blindness often affects a driver’s observational abilities in traffic.

There is simply too much visual information for their brain to consciously process all of it. People tend to focus on matters that seem like safety concerns, such as bigger vehicles near them in traffic. It is very easy for someone to look right at a cyclist or pedestrian and never mentally recognize their presence. If drivers don’t intentionally watch for pedestrians, they could easily cause a crash.

Motorists often make unsafe traffic choices

Not all drivers consistently prioritize safety. Plenty of people operating motor vehicles do things that they know are dangerous, like driving after drinking, texting at the wheel exceeding the posted speed limit and failing to stop at intersections. Drivers who cut corners when it comes to safety often assume that their risk is minimal, especially when they drive large vehicles. Unfortunately, it could potentially cause a crash with someone who doesn’t have the infrastructure of a motor vehicle to protect them.

After serious collisions, cyclists may need to file insurance claims. Frequently, liability insurance may fall far short of the expenses generated in a collision. Cyclists who get hurt by a motor vehicle sometimes need to consider filing a lawsuit as a means of recovering the costs generated by a crash. Understanding that a driver is ultimately to blame for a collision that put a cyclist in the hospital could help the injured person or their worried family members pursue compensation after that wreck.